A group of children, aged 8 to 13 years, presenting to their pediatricians with multiple medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) were compared with a control group of children from the identical age range who were, according to their pediatricians, free of unexplained physical symptoms. The groups were compared on both self-reported and parented-rated scales assessing physical symptoms and psychosocial functioning. The multiple MUPS group, relative to controls, exhibited significantly higher levels of parent-reported emotional/behavioral symptoms and a trend toward higher patient-reported anxiety than controls. Parents' and child's reports of symptomatology were modestly correlated. Symptom patterns characteristic of pediatric somatization differed as a function of whether child or parent reports were analyzed. Methodological issues in research on pediatric somatization were addressed and some directions for future research emerged.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- medically unexplained physical symptoms
- pediatric psychology
- primary care
- somatoform disorders